If you want advise from someone who runs a training excavation I would say
think very carefully before starting one. Then think about it again. Then
ask your family if they are willing to sacrifice their time and money to
train strangers. Then ask your friends if they will still hang about with
you when all you do is alternate between moaning about research digs and
then tripping on the endorphins that running a successfully project brings.
Then look at your car, and have a long talk with it. You'll be with that
car for a long time, cos you won't be able to afford another for a long
time. (You can just buy a classic and tell yourself that every year it gets
Talk to your bank manager, because you'll be missing mortgage payments.
Then think about it again.
There are many, many negatives to running a research excavation and the
associated project. But the positive aspects are unachievable almost
anywhere else in archaeology. The feeling of making even a small
difference. Listening instead of lecturing and then actually acting on the
information and feedback. Being told (once every few years) your doing a
Meeting truly great archaeologists and not feeling too out of your depth.
Your clothes coming back into fashion, because you haven't bought any new
ones for so long.....The list goes on.
But don't expect anyone to thank you. And don't expect anyone to help. You
will get help, but from unlikely sources and you will get thanks, but when
you least expect it.
Would I do it again? Not for a gold pig.....
Having said that, I'm putting together a community based project in York to
survey the Ings.....Oh well....
Bamburgh Research Project